What is Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy?
Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy are natural and non-invasive ways to help people make changes to their lives. Therapy, whether using hypnosis or non-hypnosis techniques, supports you in making beneficial changes to the way you think, feel and behave.
Clinical Hypnotherapy is a skilled communication that is aimed at directing a person’s imagination in a way that helps them to make changes in some perceptions, sensations, feelings, thoughts and behaviour – it is not making you ‘cluck like a chicken’ as I have been asked many times in the past, or getting you to watch a fob watch being swung back and fore (unless you want those things of course!).
The key to change is that you want to make changes and need some help to break your old habits, behaviours or limiting beliefs.
There is no magic pill, only a confidential, friendly, helping hand, guiding and supporting you along a path towards the goals you set. Just to be clear these are your goals and the therapist helps and supports you work towards them. It is a co-operative team effort. There is no magic pill but a confidential, friendly helping hand guiding you along to the optimum that can be achieved. A programme of work is agreed and therapy aims to get you as quickly as possible to the position you want, it is not being ‘in therapy’ for years as I work on a solution-based approach and as such therapy is based on brief solution-focused interactions, which means that it is short-term not long-term.
As a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist I can utilise your natural state of a relaxed mind to help and support you reach your goals or help you change negative behaviours, habits or thought patterns
What can Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy help with?
Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy can help with a range of issues, including helping with weight management, reducing stress and anxiety levels, improving sleep patterns and helping to achieve behavioural change.
Clinical Hypnotherapy has been used with both adults and children to help manage irritable bowel symptoms – CNHC and NICE guidelines state:
‘There is evidence to supports its use in this condition for both adults and children and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Guidance (NICE) recommends the NHS should consider referring patients for hypnotherapy if their irritable bowel is persistent and has failed to respond to simple prescribed medicine.’
How does Clinical Hypnotherapy work?
Actually, we all experience the hypnotic state in our everyday lives. Have you ever driven home and not remembered parts about the journey, or been engrossed in a book and not been conscious of time passing? If so, you’ve been in a state of focused attention, not unlike the feeling of being hypnotised.
Hypnosis helps you to achieve a state of focused attention and in this relaxed state your mind is more responsive to the changes you want to make. In a therapeutic setting suggestions are designed to be beneficial to help you change unhelpful thought patterns and bad habits you have embedded in your subconscious – these are the things you have reinforced by repetition such as the negative thinking or habit formation, so it is done unconsciously now (rather like when you were learning to drive for instance and there were a number of manoeuvres and considerations you had to be taught, where now you have mastered them you do them automatically).
Clients often comment about how “ordinary” hypnosis feels – it’s not unlike daydreaming – you can often hear everything that is being said whilst in that deeply relaxed state. In fact you could think of it as guided daydreaming.
Clinical Hypnotherapy works best as a partnership between the clinical hypnotherapist and the client working to the set intentions of the client. Recognising that the subconscious cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality it is simple to see that if you imagine something it is real for you – imagining someone is taking something away from you can create anxiety within you just by the mere thought. Imagination, then, is a very powerful tool we can utilise to get you where you want to be. When you focus on what you do want, not on what you don’t want, then you can start to release yourself from the grip of that negative patterning you have stored in the subconscious, which you consistently fall back on and instead start creating your own way of being – because you now begin to take back control of how you want to be. Hypnosis can be the latch that opens the door to a better way of feeling, being, doing things.
Working as a Partnership
Those limiting beliefs, old habits and traits can be changed if you want them to change and Clinical Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process with people, nowadays, tending to recognise that it is not something that is “done” to them. It is not a case of someone explaining their issue to the clinical hypnotherapist and then, as if by some kind of magic, the clinical hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to eliminate the problem.
The clinical hypnotherapist will, however, encourage a partnership approach when communicating and working with a client, as this will help to identify the problem and focus on the solution. The client and clinical hypnotherapist contribute in different ways to this partnership approach.
The Client’s contribution…
- Recognise they have an issue they would like help with addressing
- Make an appointment with the clinical hypnotherapist and keep that appointment
- Discuss the problem/issue with the clinical hypnotherapist
- Agree with the clinical hypnotherapist the number of sessions needed
- Communicate and work with the clinical hypnotherapist on the solution
The Clinical Hypnotherapist’s contribution…
- Deliver a professional, friendly and welcoming service
- Ensure that the initial consultation is thorough, being inclusive of client’s previous medical history, general health and lifestyle
- Listen to the client and answer any questions about the therapy
- Tailor sessions to individual client needs
- Focus on the solution, whether it is to change a behaviour, habit or to help the client reach their potential
- Advise the client to seek GP advice if medical intervention is required
What to expect at the initial consultation session and afterwards
The initial consultation is intended to support an assessment of what the client wants to achieve, how clinical hypnotherapy and/or psychotherapy can help and also to consider how many sessions may be needed.
Each client will have different problems/issues and subsequent sessions are tailored to each individual in order to support them achieve their expressed aims and goals. The therapist will work with the client to agree a framework for progress that is used to review and reinforce from the beginning to the end of the therapy.
During the first part of each subsequent session there is discussion about the progress the client has made and they are encouraged to express themselves positively and constructively, focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
“Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy can help and support you to make the changes you want to make and are committed to making. By booking an appointment with a therapist this shows you really want to make that change and are prepared to take steps to work towards it happening.” – Michele Goulding HPD, DHP, MA BA(Hons)
Clinical Hypnotherapy can help with:
- Stress and Anxiety
A certain amount can be dealt with naturally, as long as it stays within our ‘safe levels’. When it becomes too much for us to cope with it can affect our quality of life. Excessive or prolonged stress can lead to illness, physical and emotional exhaustion, increased anxiety or even panic attacks. When we come under excessive pressure, from our home, work or social factors, we tend to respond with anxiety, anger or depression or a combination of these three.
By teaching relaxation techniques and becoming aware of breathing exercises, and giving you tools and techniques to begin to master changes to how you cope with issues within areas of your life, some examples could be sleeping issues, fidgeting, nail-biting, skin picking, panic attacks, weight gain, anger, IBS, skin complaints, exhaustion, smoking, relationship conflicts, social interactions, changes in working environments, lack of confidence generally or in a specific field of engagement and in many more ways. Anxiety can build over time until it overwhelms you and you are unable to cope or become ill from the stress.
Depression is perhaps the most common psychological disorder.
Depression is a significant factor in today’s society in the break up of relationships, career problems and lack of motivation. Often, when it occurs, the individual will turn in on themselves and refuse to engage with others. Severity can range from being almost totally dysfunctional to having some of the symptoms associated with the illness…
- Depressed mood and sometimes fearfulness
- Sleep disturbance
- Loss of energy and/or appetite
- Loss of pleasure or interest in usual activities
- Difficulties in thinking, concentrating etc.
Some of the above symptoms are able to be treated specifically – insomnia, eating disorders and lack of concentration are examples. Often depression is exacerbated or even caused by substance abuse – alcohol, drugs or cigarette smoking.
With appropriate hypnotherapy depression is one of the most treatable disorders. It has a dramatically lower rate of relapse than with anti-depressants alone and is now considered the most effective treatment, even in severe cases, enabling the client to focus on solving problems and engage fully in life again.
- Fears and Phobias
The origin of a phobia can be associated with a traumatic or unpleasant event earlier on in life, although it can also be triggered during a time of high anxiety. The subconscious, noting high anxiety, steps in with panic behaviour which we can then begin to associate with an object, place or event. Fears and phobias can be extremely debilitating and restricting in many areas of life. Using clinical hypnotherapy, phobias may be resolved within three to five sessions.
The process enables the person to disassociate from the fear/phobia, using specific techniques that enable the emotion to be taken out of the experience. More realistic patterns of thought are then developed helping the individual’s subconscious to become indifferent to the particular object of fear, so that they will be less affected by it in the future.
- Self-Confidence and Public Speaking
If you lack either confidence or motivation the likely cause is a degree of underlying stress, anxiety or depression. When we lack confidence in our abilities we often have negative views of the future or are introspective about the past.
With Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy anxiety can be reduced, unwanted behaviour patterns eliminated and subconscious process developed to be more optimistic and motivated to succeed. This is part of the successful treatment of problem areas such as public speaking, interviews and exams.
- Weight Control
The most common cause of being overweight relates to the individual’s attitude to food – it is not just a matter of choice but also a matter of conditioning laid down in childhood and throughout life. Your attitude to food and eating is the most important means of losing weight, and that is where hypnotherapy comes in. Under hypnosis the subconscious can be allowed to form fresh perspectives on how, what, when and why you eat. It is not so difficult once your subconscious mind better understands the role of food.
Old childhood behaviour patterns can be updated so that food is not used for comfort at times of stress, making the task of losing your weight so much easier. You can gain control over your eating habits as you shape changes to a more healthy you.
‘If you smoke, there is no greater thing you can do to improve the quality and length of your life than to give up.’
Clinical Hypnotherapy can be a fast, effective and powerful tool for supporting eradication of unwanted habits. The physical addiction to cigarettes is less than 10% – the rest is all in the mind, which can be re-educated!
It will be explained in the session how your subconscious has created such a dangerous habit and remind you of the dangers to mind and body of smoking, and how hypnosis will help you to stop. As long as you have a genuine desire to quit, you could leave the therapy session a non-smoker, with no cravings.
There are many benefits to giving up smoking regarding your health as well as generally:
- Breathing becomes easier
- Skin appearance improves
- Lung function increases
- Risk of heart attack lowers.
- More energy to do things with your family, playing with the children, taking walks, being part of activities friends and family may be enjoying.
- Chest infections and colds become less frequent.
- The smell of stale tobacco goes from your breath, clothes, hair and face.
- Foods and drinks taste and smell better.
- Finances improve
Other benefits (https://patient.info/health/smoking-the-facts)
I came slightly apprehensive but I was met with such a friendly approach. Coming here has released me from a straightjacket; realising that I had potential, which is something I hadn’t felt before, but I definitely do now. I would most certainly recommend this therapy to anyone who needs a helping hand in their life so that they can enjoy it to the full!
Results with hypnotherapy vary from individual to individual and cannot be guaranteed.
Outcomes will be influenced by an individual’s motivation, past experiences and their willingness to practise agreed action plans between sessions. The amount of sessions needed to achieve certain outcomes will also vary from individual to individual **